manage.future - Outlook on the German economy 2021
"Where will our future growth come from?"
This was the question that Roland Berger Managing Partner Stefan Schaible asked a group of some 100 executives who were discussing the future of the German economy at an event jointly staged by Roland Berger and manager magazin on January 21, 2021. The day after the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, a top-class round of keynote speeches with subsequent panel discussion was on offer in a pandemic-proof digital setting.
Speakers included Harvard Business School professor Karim R. Lakhani, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann and former foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, now chairman of Atlantik-Brücke; manage.future was moderated by Schaible and manager magazin's Editor-in-Chief Sven Clausen.
The Harvard expert: Artificial intelligence drives performance.
For Harvard professor Karim R. Lakhani, two factors are crucial in driving growth: new technologies and bold leadership. "Companies need to embrace artificial intelligence now. Doing so will have a direct positive impact on corporate performance," said the AI expert. He advised the participating executives to use the current crisis to their advantage in this respect. He stressed, though, that bringing in new technologies is not enough. Businesses also need to adapt their organizational structure. And that is precisely where bold leadership comes in.
Bayer CEO Baumann: Europe's Green Deal stimulates growth
Bayer CEO Werner Baumann turned to the issue of supply chains. He rejects in no uncertain terms the calls for reshoring the supply chain in view of recent shortages of vital products. "The Covid crisis has demonstrated that verticalization – controlling supply chains at the national or regional level – doesn't actually work in the real economy." Baumann praised the Green Deal as a key component of a sustainable growth strategy for Europe. "What we need is innovation-driven Green Deal policymaking," said Baumann, "of the kind that strengthens the competitiveness of our industries in the international arena."
Sigmar Gabriel: Europe will have to bear more responsibility
At the end of the panel, Sigmar Gabriel addressed the impact of a new US President taking office. The former Vice-Chancellor said that, unlike Trump, Joe Biden knows that he needs alliances and partners. Nevertheless, Gabriel believes that Germany and Europe face major challenges: "The new US President will call for a new form of partnership in which Europe will have much more responsibility to bear."
manage.future is a joint event organized by Roland Berger and manager magazin in cooperation with Harvard Business Manager. The format was created to ask the difficult questions that companies are currently facing – and to find answers together with the brightest minds.